local yokel

I wanted to share a collection of my personal favorite nearby things to do and resources for families home schooling in the Newport County area.  This is not an exhaustive list!

Local Home School Support Groups

  • Homeschool Moms of Newport County - this is a FaceBook group myself and a girlfriend launched.  This is membership free and exists for the sole purpose of connecting with other moms in the Newport County area.  We do have a lot of useful resources linked as well.   
  • Rhode Island Christian Home Educators (RICHES) - from their website:  RICHES is a non-profit, 501(c)3, Christian homeschool organization whose aim is to reclaim the lost educational heritage of our land.  Membership $15 one time fee.  You will get a membership card which can be used for teacher discounts where honored.
  • ENRICHri  - ENRICHri is a secular community which provides support and guidance in a welcoming environment. They do not discriminate based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, faith, home education philosophy, physical or other challenges.  $25 annual Membership fee.   
  •  LIFE Homeschool Group - LIFE is a Christian cooperative group.  2-3 planning meetings take place each year which is when events are scheduled.  LIFE meets in Rehoboth, MA but is open to homeschool families in RI as well.  Membership $10 annually. 
  • New England Homeschools - FaceBook support group where you'll find postings for a variety of classes and gatherings in the nearby area.  


Local Co-ops 

Please note co-ops are living organisms and subject to change

Best Places to Hike (according to us)
**next to accessible paths

  • Weetamoo Woods, Tiverton - FREE. we prefer starting at the East Rd. entrance because we love feeding the horses carrots and apples before we go exploring. There is a kiosk right at the beginning of the trails (near the horses) where you can typically find maps. The paths are well marked, but there are several different loops and colors to choose from. Some of the paths do not loop back and it would be easy to wind up at a different entrance! NOT accessible. 
  • **Sachuest Nature Preserve, Middletown - FREE. a wonderful hands-on museum with clean restrooms, but closes early at just 4pm. We never fail to see something new each time we go. Several shoreline access points where adventurous families can climb rocks and explore. A huge bonus is that Sachuest IS accessible. We bring Trevy's Convaid with us just in case he needs a rest.
  • **Colt State Park, Bristol - FREE. Not very woodsy, but the paths are paved which make it accessible and it's right along the coast line, which means a beautiful view.
  • **Dundery Brook, Little Compton - FREE. This is a fun little path with a wooden walkway about 3/4 of a mile long. The path ends at a pond, which we have never explored due to having our wheelchair with us. The wooden walkway is accessible, but the path around the pond is not. We usually walk to the end and turn around and head back. 
  • Simmons Mill Pond, Little Compton - FREE. We adore this path around Simmons Pond! The caregivers do a wonderful job of labeling various flora and fauna for kids (and adults) to learn more about their own backyards. There are benches here and there to sit and have a rest. It's especially beautiful in the fall! 

Free Fun

  • Freetown State Forest Wading Pool 
  • Fort Barton (historical; Tiverton) 
  • Portsmouth Compact & Founders Brook (historical; Portsmouth) 
  • Patriot's Park (historical; Portsmouth)
  • La Salette (Christmas lights; Attleboro, MA)
  • Beaches are free after 4pm during the summer and free during off season from Labor Day - Memorial Day.
  • Newport County Days.  Each Father's Day weekend all Newport County residents have a chance to enjoy local tourist attractions (think Breakers, Save the Bay, etc) admission free!!  We take advantage of this gift every year! 


  • Town Farm (Tiverton, RI) - wooden playground, soccer & baseball fields and a walking track.
  • Sandywoods  (Tiverton, RI) - pirate ship playground, baseball field, basketball courts, walking track and a skate park
  • Kids Cove (Barrington, RI) - a super fun playground with lots of special needs perks (ramps; adaptive swings) plus it's next to the Barrington Library which has a wonderful children's section!
  • Pierce Beach (Somerset, MA) - home of the big red slide!  FREE entrance after 4pm and only $5 before 4pm.  This playground is a family favorite because there is something for everyone!  A small kids playground, a bigger kids playground, a calm beach front and the best part is the enormous red slide built right into a hill!  Bring cardboard with you to really zoom down the slide!

Our Favorite Beaches

  • South Shore Beach - (Little Compton) This beach is one of our favorites because it's a hidden gem which means LESS people.  South Shore Beach is family friendly, with moderate waves, plenty of sand and an inlet where the kids can catch sea critters with nets & buckets.  We do recommend wearing water shoes at all the beaches in our area.  FREE after 4:30 pm or for Little Compton residents.
  • Sandy Point Beach - (Portsmouth) Another family friendly beach.  Sandy Point is nice because there are minimal waves which makes keeping little people safe easier.  There are bathrooms with warm showers - but be sure to use them BEFORE you head to the beach as they are quite a hike from the shore.  A large portion of the beach is rocky; however, if you follow the wooden walk-way you'll find a nice stretch of sandy shore line.  Be sure to wear water shoes!  FREE after 4:30 pm or for Portsmouth residents.
  • Fogland Beach - (Tiverton)  Fogland Beach is fun for the whole family.  The waves are minimal but the sea critter exploration is huge.  Be sure to bring buckets and nets to let the kids capture and study creatures to their hearts' content.  Bathrooms.  FREE after 4:30pm or for Tiverton residents.
  • Brenton Point - (Newport)  We love Brenton Point!  While there are not a lot of swimming opportunities at Brenton Point, the kids will love it all the same.  In typical New England fashion, Brenton Point is lined with rock cliffs which are fun to climb and explore.  There are bathrooms and large grassy knolls for picnics or ball play.  Be sure to drive down Bellview and enjoy the mansions on the way to Brenton Park.  

Affordable Family Fun

  • East Providence 10 Cinemas (Rumford, RI) - not the fanciest theater but definitely the MOST affordable!  $3 per person regularly and just $2 per person on recession Tuesdays & Thursdays!
  • Newport Ice Rink (Newport, RI) - A fun winter activity is the FREE ice skating on Mondays & Weds.  Regular admission is only $5 adult and $3 children.  My daughter LOVES Newport and says it's like you're ice skating in a snow globe!  
  • Newport Gulls (Newport, RI) - making it to a Gulls games makes our family's summer bucket list every year!  It's super cheap, fun for kids and my hubby loves the rich history (Satchel Paige played) of the field! 

    Nearby Amusement Parks

    • Santa's Village (NH) - nestled in the White Mountains is IMO the best amusement park other than Disney!  Meet Santa and pet his real, live reindeer.  Plus, in the summer there is a fantastic water park!  Totally worth the drive! 
    • Lake Compounce (CT) -  So close it can be a day trip!  Lake Compounce is the oldest continually operating amusement park in the country and offers a variety of rides and activities for the whole family.  The kiddie section has smaller less intense rides.  The big kid rides include large roller coasters, bumper cars and more.  And then there's the water park!  Our family really enjoyed this park because of the variety AND the size wasn't too overwhelming.  If you have a child with significant special needs be sure to stop by guest relations for a special wrist band which will alert staff that you might need extra assistance.


    • Roger Williams Park Zoo - You can spend half a day exploring all the fun that Roger Williams Zoo offers.  Lots of animals and fun paths - make sure to bring a stroller for little people!  Outside of the zoo (but on the Roger Williams campus) there is a wonderful INclusive playground and also a carousel.  
    • Buttonwood Park Zoo - Located in New Bedford, MA, Buttonwood Zoo is a fun place to visit.  The zoo is on the small side which is great for little people legs.  They have a train ride (costs extra) and lots of various shows throughout the week.  There is a wonderful playground right outside of the zoo entrance.  Membership includes reciprocal entrance to Capron Park Zoo & Boston Museum of Science too!
    • Capron Park Zoo - Located in Attleboro, MA this zoo has the most interesting animals by far!  If you like lions, zebras and bears - oh my!  Plus, it's a great place to visit in the summer because they have a fun little splash park!  Playground located right outside zoo entrance for extra fun.  Membership includes reciprocal entrance to Buttonwood Park Zoo & Boston Museum of Science!


    • Providence Children's Museum - the parking can be sketchy but the fun inside is worth it!  Be sure to pick up a discount pass at the library!
    • Boston Museum of Science -If you get a zoo membership at any one of the local zoos the MOS is included in the reciprocal program.  Last time we visited they did limit the number of guests to 4 for the reciprocal pass but it's still a deal.
    • Museum of Natural History & Planetarium (Providence) - they offer monthly homeschool classes for just $10 per family of four!  


    Seasonal Fun

    • La Salette (seasonal; Christmas)  - the prettiest light display in the area and it's FREE!  It's a walk through Christmas light display so make sure you bundle up!
    • Simcock Farm (seasonal; Harvest) - we LOVE Simcock Farm!  There are plenty of activities to enjoy year round, but our favorite is the pumpkin picking.  For $5 dollars you'll enjoy a hayride, corn maze, homemade pumpkin ice cream, petting the rescue animals AND pick a small pumpkin!  It's an autumn tradition for our fam!

    Good to Know

    • Homeschool Classifieds is a great place to find books and resources! 
    • Best Homeschool Buys - reviews and links to used homeschooling materials.
    • The Feinstein Foundation's Good Deed Cards.  These cards are given as a reward to all RI children who actively take part in community service.  The perks are free access to many local fun places like Mystic Aquarium and The Roger Williams Zoo!  Email them with your contact info and your children's good deeds.  
    • Rhody Ramble - a website dedicated to family adventure in RI